Wednesday, February 15, 2012
I got a case of the debt blues.
I know this kinda happens cyclically... but I'm at one of those low points where I feel completely paralyzed by my debt. It just seems like I will never be free from it. I've been out of school for over 3 years now and the balance on my loans peaked last September. Talk about depressing. I went backwards every single month for 2.5 years while making the full payments.
I've come to view my student loans as a type of "life overhead". Regardless of what is or isn't happening in my life, there's always going to be that overhead. The thing that scares me the most is that each one of my loans has VARIABLE interest. If my debt accounts for 1/3 of my discretionary income now... How much of my income will it take up when our economy begins to recover? The last time my interest rates went up .01% my payments went up 30%. I still don't understand how that was even possible, I just know I am incapable of keeping up with such inflated payments.
There are only so many times I can remind myself "that this didn't happen overnight, so it's not going to go away overnight," before the feelings of defeat become too hard to shake. I have a fairly cush job and I earn a good salary, but I force myself to live by the wire, paycheck to paycheck. Only recently have I decided that my current method is probably not the best and that I should be floating more money into my savings account.
Which leads me to some even crazier ideas, like wanting to fight debt with debt. That's right. Take on more debt to pay off other debt. Already sounds like a bad idea, doesn't it? In six weeks I need to be out of my apartment. I'm finding time and time again that a mortgage for a two bedroom house is often cheaper than the rent for a studio apartment. So I began thinking, what if I got a house and got a roommate? I could come out close to even and put more money towards my student loans. Then I started thinking... what if I just invested in a larger rental property, then I could come out ahead and put even more money towards my student loans!
See the dollar signs? $_$
but there are so many flaming hoops associated with all of that. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but it gave me a slight glimmer of hope that someday I could get ahead...
For now, it's back to cleaning, sorting and packing. Swallowing the reality that an apartment on my own will probably cost me $200 a month more and that I really really need to create some balance in my life right now.
Pass the Maalox.